French Open's primitive line calling system strikes at the expense of Taylor Fritz

Finding the ball mark in the clay continues to be an imperfect science
Mateo Villalba/GettyImages

Taylor Fritz was sailing along with a two sets-to-love lead in his match over Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis. The third set got a bit tighter as Kokkinakis increased his level.

The third set tiebreak was the point in the match that Fritz was hoping to secure the win. He was playing on Court 14, and the temperature was in the 50s as it was getting close to 10 PM local time.

Fritz fell behind in the tiebreaker and ultimately lost the third set in a heated controversy when he was down 4-6 (set point).

What happened at 4-6 during the Fritz and Kokkinakis tiebreaker

The adage that you cannot make this stuff applies here. Fritz and Kokkinakis were in a rally when Kokkinakis left a ball go unplayed. He believed it to be out. At that point, the chair umpire got out of the chair to look for the mark.

Kokkinakis had a minor meltdown that they were even looking for a mark and points in the general vicinity as the line judge appeared on the scene to attempt to resolve the situation. He was outraged that the ball was not called out automatically.

There was some discussion among the chair umpire and line judge about where the mark was. No one seemed to locate or point to a mark making everything more confusing.

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The ball was ultimately called out while Kokkinakis had already been in his seat for thirty seconds. He won the set. To his credit, Fritz was a lot calmer and less dramatic than Kokkinakis, and he had a legitimate beef. His opinion was without a definitive mark, the point should be replayed.

It was not replayed, and with that, Fritz lost the third set. The call went from the ball being in to out, and no one considered replaying the point. NBC/Peacock attempted a replay from several angles to figure out where the ball landed, and they could not pinpoint it either. Kokkinakis's actions of getting down on his knees and propping his head against his racquet and walking to his chair while the issue was unresolved seemed to influence the officials' decision.

While everyone says the Hawk-Eye electronic line calling system is less accurate on clay, it has to be an improvement over this archaic procedure. Hopefully, this lack of a replay call does not cost Fritz the match. It already cost him a set.

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